Lemon Zucchini Loaf Cake is a great way to use extra zucchini – it’s a tasty dessert with a fresh lemon flavor and you can’t even tell the zucchini is there!
It’s finally time for us to catch up. Last time we talked was about 2 weeks ago and I was about to leave Nova Scotia and head back to Wisconsin. So now I’ve been home for about two weeks, but have been busy. Immediately after we got back, I did a bunch of laundry and bought a largely unplanned batch of groceries, then packed everything back up again and headed out to go camping.
As expected, it was the most unorganized camping trip in the history of camping. I remembered to bring coffee, and a coffee maker, but nothing to boil water. Dry cereal with no milk. An air mattress with no way to inflate it (luckily we were able to borrow a pump), but realized there was a hole in it when we ended up on the ground in the middle of the night. Luckily we had a couple of backup sleeping pads, because Hubby had to get up in the middle of the night, search the car for the backups and inflate them. I’m kind of surprised we ended up staying the full two nights, but it turned out to be fun in the end. In fact we’re doing it all over this weekend (hopefully we learned from our mistakes!) To see photos from our escapades, make sure you follow me on Instagram.
Between all of that, I’ve been finding a little bit of time to bake. We started picking up our veggie share right after the camping trip, and of course there is zucchini. So as I always do when there’s lots of zucchini, I hide it in baked goods. This time it’s Lemon Zucchini Loaf Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze.
When I asked my daughter if she wanted to help me bake, she immediately said “Yes – chocolate chip cookies!” When she found out I was making something with zucchini, she threw a fit and said she HATES zucchini. Anyway, it all worked out in the end, because the next day (after all necessary photos had been taken), when I asked her if she wanted cake, she forgot the secret ingredient and wolfed down two pieces. So did the little guy. Then when hubby came home, he tried a piece (before supper I may add) and said “wow, this is really good – for cake”. (He’s not a cake person – how that can be possible I’ll never know). Then I got my sneaky little smile and said “Did you know there’s a whole zucchini in there?”
In this case, the secret to being so sneaky, and being able to keep that zucchini hidden, is in using yellow zucchini. Your family will just think it’s part of the lemon, and it enhances the sunny yellow color of the cake. However, since yellow zucchini isn’t quite as commonly available, it is definitely possible to use regular old green zucchini, but it might not be quite as easy to fool your family!
- 2 cups grated yellow zucchini, from one medium zucchini (see note)
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil, or other lightly flavored vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350°F and lightly grease an 8x5" loaf pan.
Place grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Toss gently and place the colander in the sink to drain. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
Whisk together the sugar, oil, yogurt, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract into a large bowl. When the zucchini is done draining, squeeze any extra water out with your hands. Stir it into this mixture.
Gently fold the flour mixture into the zucchini mixture, and stir until flour is just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and gently smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Whisk together lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, continue adding powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cake once it is completely cool.
Green zucchini can be used instead of yellow zucchini, but the resulting cake will have green flecks instead of yellow.
Zucchini Lemon Loaf Cake Nutrition Notes:
The above nutrition information is for a slice of cake (cut into 12 slices) with glaze made with the full 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. If you’re looking to cut down on sugar, skip the glaze. It will save you 15g of sugar. Making your glaze thinner, with just 1 cup of powdered sugar will save you 5g of sugar.